Co-op improves on-shelf availability with warehouse management platform

The Co-operative retail group says it is already seeing benefits from its deployment of a warehouse management system from Manhattan Associates in its new regional distribution centre in Thurrock, Essex. The implementation marks the first phase of a UK-wide roll-out of the platform.

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The Co-operative retail group says it is already seeing benefits from its deployment of a warehouse management system from Manhattan Associates in its new regional distribution centre in Thurrock, Essex. The implementation marks the first phase of a UK-wide roll-out of the platform.

The retailer said that since installing the warehouse component of Manhattan Associate’s Open Systems supply chain platform at the centre it had already registered a “marked increase” in on-shelf availability and delivery efficiencies for those operations served by the facility.

The Co-op said its decision to use Manhattan Associates’ systems to improve distribution to its food retail outlets followed a comprehensive review of its supply chain infrastructure four years ago that concluded much better systems were a necessity.

“As a result, the company is in the process of transforming its entire distribution network, with improvements that include a new national distribution centre in Coventry and a re-planning of the company's delivery routes nationwide,” the Co-op said.

Though the South East is the first region to benefit from the full working model of the Co-op's new vision, it will subsequently be taken to the organisation's regional distribution centre in Nottingham before being implemented at the firm’s national distribution centre in Coventry.

Trevor Ashworth, director of food retail logistics at the Co-op, said: "We are outperforming the market in terms of like-for-like sales growth and make more than 38,000 deliveries a week to our stores. We could never have maintained these levels with our old solution; we were suffering from too many orders, too many trucks, too much admin and too much hassle!”

Ashworth said on-shelf availability has increased significantly since Co-op rolled out the new software and the entire region was “running far more efficiently”.

“The South East used to be our worst-performing region; now it is our best. The only difference that can explain the improvement is Manhattan Associates," he said.

The Co-op has 3,300 food retail stores in the UK.

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